- Govt introduces guidelines for loan provision to diploma students
DAR ES SALAAM : THE government is walking the talk in efforts to increase skilled labour to meet growing demands of the fourth industrial revolution in the country.
This follows the launching of guidelines for provision of loans to diploma students for the academic year 2023/2024 in fields with a higher need for professionals, especially technicians.
Speaking during the Africa Human Capital Heads of State Summit that brought together over 1,000 participants from 44 governments in Dar es Salaam recently, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said African nations need to ensure that the education they offer enables the youth to increase productivity and eventually have an impact on the countries’ economies.
Tanzania is determined to reinforce its workforce, which requires high-level technical skills, higher-order cognitive skills, and human or interpersonal skills for the fourth industrial revolution. Creative thinking, decision-making, critical thinking, negotiation, and persuasion will be required, as machines lack these abilities.
Speaking during the launch ceremony held at Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adolf Mkenda said the government needs to increase the number of experts by providing loans to students at the diploma level.
“It is the government’s mission to see that more young Tanzanians get education and training to participate in building and development of their nation,” Prof Mkenda said.
Prof Mkenda further noted that in the academic year 2023-2024, approximately 8,000 diploma students in priority fields will be invited to apply for loans worth 48 bn/-.
He said that the government has assessed the need for professionals in the country and identified areas with a great need for professionals at the middle level, including health and allied sciences, education, Transport and logistics, Energy Engineering, Mining and Earth Science and Agriculture and Livestock.
“For example, the government has built hospitals, clinics and health centres throughout the country that need professionals…
“The government has built and renovated schools that need science teachers, the government is also implementing major reforms in the oil, gas and mining sectors and the agriculture sector through the BBT (Building a Better Tomorrow) programme,” he said.
The minister said government’s efforts have been demonstrated in the increase in the budget for education loans from 570bn/- in 2021/2022 academic year to 731bn/- in 2023/2024 leading to an increase in the number of loans beneficiaries from 177,615 in 2021/2022 up to 205,000 beneficiaries who are expected to get educational loans in 2023/2024.
“The other efforts of the government in increasing professionals include the introduction of ‘Samia Scholarship’ opportunities for an average of 640 students each year, which started from last year and the provision of loans to diploma students from this year,” he added.
Moreover, the minister said that the decision to provide loans to diploma students is among of the implementation of the ruling party CCM Manifesto (2020-2025), as stipulated in section 80, Page 127-131, which explains the government’s objectives in the higher education sub-sector.
The manifesto states that the government will strengthen and improve the funding system for higher education, including HESLB, to ensure that more students with needs and qualifications will get the opportunity to join higher education.
The strengthening of education system so that it can produce the most capable experts in science, technology, and other fields who can be self-employed and employed anywhere in the world is also stated in CCM manifesto.
The manifesto also states the presence of sufficient human resources with appropriate education, skills and knowledge, especially in the fields of science and technology.
According to Prof Mkenda, the decision to provide loans to diploma students is also based on the amendment of the HESLB Act 2017.
On the other hand, the minister urged students, parents and guardians to read the guideline that was made available online on Wednesday and to consider it when applying for a loan.
“The guidelines will be available through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology website (www.moe.go.tz), the website of HESLB (www.heslb.go.tz) and the website of the National Council of Education Vocational and Vocational Training (www.nacte.go.tz)” he noted
Online Application Window will be open for 15 days from 7 – 22, October 2023.
For his part, HESLB Director General, Mr Abdul-Razaq Badru said after the launch of the guidelines, HELSB will continue to educate society through the media so that they can understand how to apply for the loan.
Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students’ Organisation (TAHLISO)’ president, Maria John thanked President Samia Suluhu Hassan for working on loan provision for diploma students.
Ms John called on diploma-level students who will apply for a loan to follow the instructions in the guidelines and to follow all the procedures including verifying all relevant certificates.